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Sergei Magnitsky and beyond – fighting impunity by targeted sanctions

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 14440 | 15 November 2017

Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In its Resolution 1966 (2014) on “Refusing impunity for the killers of Sergei Magnitsky”, adopted by an overwhelming majority, the Parliamentary Assembly reiterated its strong support for the fight against impunity and against corruption as a threat to the rule of law, in line with its earlier resolutions and recommendations.

The Assembly also resolved to follow closely the implementation of the concrete proposals it had addressed to the Russian authorities in order to ensure that the perpetrators and beneficiaries of the crime against Sergei Magnitsky be held to account.

It further resolved that if, within a reasonable period of time, the competent authorities have failed to make any or any adequate response to this resolution, the Assembly should recommend to member States of the Council of Europe to follow as a last resort the example of the United States and Canada in adopting targeted sanctions against individuals (including visa bans and freezing of accounts), having first given those named individuals the opportunity to make appropriate representations in their defence.

It would appear that the competent authorities’ response has indeed been inadequate. Furthermore, in several member States of the Council of Europe (including Lithuania, Ukraine and the United Kingdom), legislative initiatives to enable targeted sanctions against perpetrators or beneficiaries of serious human rights violations such as the killing of Sergei Magnitsky have already been launched.

It is therefore now time to re-visit and update Resolution 1966 (2014) with a view to encourage parliaments of member States to consider and possibly follow the examples of legislative action cited.

The Assembly resolves to accompany these initiatives and to encourage other member and observer States to follow suit.